The self-appointed ‘indie pop princess of Bow’, Harry and the Chicks’ new single is a dreamy, upbeat indie tune that captures the nostalgia of growing up in Bow and the East End.
Born Harry Mary-Ann Adams, ‘Bow Church’ is inspired by the photographs of her mother Moira Adams’ wedding in the 80s at the iconic Bow Common Church.
Harry and the Chicks is an established name in the London indie world; she has played at BBC Radio Essex and the O2 Academy in Islington, and LOCK music magazine has described her as ‘working her way at the top of the pecking order’ of the local music scene.
Now, her new single Bow Church is a matrimony of romantic love and the warm, distinctively East End-flavoured nostalgia that many who grew up here will be familiar with; it conjures up the world of pie and mash, of cobbled streets and flat caps of the East End, as she asks her love to meet her at the eponymous Bow Church Station. ‘One day I’ll take your name’, she sings.
The nostalgia of the song doesn’t just come from her mother’s experiences, but from her own childhood growing up in the area.
‘I come from a typically working-class, East End family,’ she says. So when I was young, I remember going with my mum to the market on a Saturday. And I distinctly remember what a social atmosphere it was here. How people on the streets would talk to each other.’
And why did she title it Bow Church? ‘Well I think of Bow Road Station, Bow Church Station – that sort of area, as being bang in the middle of the Bow,’ she says.
‘Even though the song is inspired by my mum’s wedding at Bow Common Church, that’s more towards the Mile End area, in my mind.’
An ever-classic East Ender, she says she enjoys bringing her friends to the ‘proper’ East End for pie and mash. ‘People think of Brick Lane as “East” of London and this whole area is usually left out. So I want to show the beauty around here.’
In fact, the visualiser (a simple video on Youtube to advertise singles) for Bow Church is full of nods and winks to spots that those who live here will associate with this area; she is seen singing at the Victoria Park bandstand, at a leafy residential road in front of the Lord Tredegar pub.
Even the Number 8 bus (which, rather appropriately goes to Bow Church) makes an appearance.
Bow Church is out now on Spotify and other music streaming platforms.
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